After almost four years of weekly sessions, my therapist asked me for the first time last week, "What in your childhood might be relevant to these questions you have?"
In most of the "New Yorker Goes To Therapy" cartoons and caricatures of my neurotic city's tendencies, this is usually the first question asked. But in my experience, it has been very rare to delve into that territory and never in such a direct way.
but in the past week, "Young Andy" has come up three different times in three different conversations with people I love and trust who were asking me to dig deeper into the source code of the intention I was externalizing.
Where did that pattern originate?
How long had that belief been true for me?
Why does that idea still hold so much power in your life?
As I explored in my 40 for 40 series last year, I wouldn't change my childhood or the very unique upbringing I had. But I have been working to understand it better and ensure that I am exploring the way that Young Andy is still looking for more than what I have unlocked thus far in life.
And sometimes that insatiable drive for a reality that only a sheltered and irrationally exuberant kid could believe was possible still haunts me.
Young Andy holds me to a standard that I am not always sure I can live up to. But Young Andy had very limited information with which to form his ideas of the world. The things I did know let me believe anything was possible and as of this writing on Tuesday, Oct 17th 2023, I still think that that statement might be true.
Well, within reason.
I still believe that I could one day be President, or at least there is nothing in my past that would preclude me from doing so.
But I guess I would draw the line at being the number one draft pick in the 2024 NFL draft. That I can't do.
But Young Andy still sees and believes most other things are still absolutely still in range if I decided to chase them down.
And I only know that because in this time of liminal space that I've been living through over the past few years, there has been space for play and imagination and unstructured curiosity.
Heck, this 4000+ community of curious people was born in that phase.
But as the next round of growth kicks in, I am committed to making sure Young Andy is riding shotgun on this next adventure in a way that I hadn't previously. There is an energy and irrationality that I think I would be well served by going forward.
So I ask, what are you doing to Make Room for your Younger Self?
What were they great at that you no longer Make Room for?
What passions were they committed to that haven't crossed your mind recently?
What activity did you do for hours on end without a purpose or outcome?
These are just some of the questions that I think we would all be better served if we explored more often. Not to become Lost Boys in Neverland, but to remember our first loves and reconnect with a time when things might have been slightly simpler and our desires that much purer.
I mean I finished writing this morning's thoughts while eating a chocolate chip cookie that my Mom made. Life is good.